VERIFY: Facebook rumors on human trafficking

Verify: Target abduction attempt

KENT COUNTY, MICH. - The messages about alleged human trafficking really increased in the past week, which is something most would be concerned about.

But we wanted to dig deeper and Verify the claims.

Here's one message we got.

Viewer Katie Taylor sent us a screenshot of this Facebook post about an incident at the Meijer at 28th street and Kalamazoo avenue.

It says a "friend" was stalked by a man and a woman and could have vanished.

This post alone has been shared more than 25,000 times, but the woman who posted it later clarified she copied and pasted it from someone else -- not actually a friend.

We spoke with Kent County Undersheriff Michelle Young who said this post actually began circulating back in 2013. They, along with Grand Rapids Police, vetted the allegations back then and found they were not valid.

The sheriffs' department has not confirmed any human trafficking related incidents at Meijer stores -- making this post false.

We also received this post from a viewer:

Kali Dingman from Target's Corporate Office provided us with this statement saying in part:

"...We take matters like this very seriously, and we have looked into this situation in partnership with local law enforcement. At this time, we are not able to confirm this incident occurred."

We followed up with Undersherriff  Young again, who told us they made contact with the original Facebook poster.

"We then went back and viewed surveillance video from Target and found there was no contact made -- or really even close to contact made between the baby in question and the person believed to be the one going to make an attempt," Young said. "I can tell you that we have no history at this store and this incident does not seem to be exactly how it was portrayed on Facebook."

So, this post is also false.

The undersherriff said it's important to remember that human trafficking is a very real issue, so should you experience anything that concerns you -- call 911 and file a formal police report. She said that will be far more effective in preventing real human trafficking.

Have something you'd like to see verified? Let us know.

VERIFY: Sources

Kent County Undersheriff Michelle Young
Kali Dingman, Target Corporate 

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